Sexual assaults have increased at an alarming rate in Vancouver, with stranger sexual assaults having gone up 129% in July of this year compared to 2019, and sexual assaults up 167% in the Granville Entertainment District compared to the three-year average in July.
Because of these numbers, the VPD is launching an awareness campaign in the hope of keeping the public safe in downtown Vancouver and the rest of the city.
In a release, the VPD outlined the numerous incidents that have transpired.
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Since July 1, there have been eight separate incidents related to the Granville Entertainment District.
“This is obviously very concerning,” said VPD Constable Tania Visintin.
These incidents ranged from unwanted touching to forced sexual intercourse. In July, 16 stranger sexual assaults were reported throughout Vancouver, compared to 10 in July of 2020, and seven in July of 2019.
“Hands off!” was a campaign that the VPD ran in 2019, and they’re relaunching it to bring awareness to unwanted sexual touching, informing potential offenders that groping is a crime.
“We know that offences against a person, specifically sexual offences, are vastly underreported,” added Constable Visintin. “Our officers are very alive to the sensitivity around these types of files and will do anything they can to uphold the integrity of the survivor.”